The Anubis Fetish/Emblem

The emblems of Anubis, also known as the Imiut fetish, were items associated with the God Anubis. These items have been used since the 1st Dynasty and were often placed beside a pharaoh’s throne and perhaps used as charms thought to have offered protection. These emblems were often shown on temple walls and in tomb paintings. The most notable use of these items was at Hatshepsut’s temple located in Deir el-Bahri in the Chapel of Anubis.

Though the fetish/emblems were believed to be used as a symbolism of protection, they were also used inside the tombs of the affluent and those that were of royalty. The most famous use of these mysterious items was found in Tutankhamun’s (King Tut’s) tomb. The emblems were laid beside the western ends of the passageway beside his shrine.

The overall look of the fetish/emblem was comprised of a potted base with a pole placed in the center. Suspended to the pole was some type of animal, usually a cow or a feline. The head was removed and the body was then stuffed. In the case of Tutankamun, each emblem was made with an alabaster pot and a wooden pole covered in gold. Unlike the older fetish/emblems made with real animal skins, those found in Tutankhamun’s tomb were carved with wood, plastered, and then gilded.